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Blue Bell recalls ice cream for possible deadly listeria contamination

Blue Bell

(NaturalNews) A voluntary recall has just been issued for two flavors of Blue Bell ice cream out of concern about possible contamination with listeria. The recall is being instituted out of an abundance of caution in cooperation with the FDA.

The problem has been traced to a cookie dough ingredient that comes from a third-party distributor, Aspen Hills Inc. of Garner, Iowa. Internal testing uncovered the problem, and Blue Bell then notified Aspen Hills and initiated the recall. The two flavors affected are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in half-gallon and pint sizes, and the half-gallon size of Cookie Two-Step.

The affected products were sold in 10 southern states: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. The ice cream in question was made at the company's creamery in Sylacauga, Alabama. The products bear specific code dates on the bottom of each carton. A list of the code dates on the affected products as well as their photos can be found on the FDA's official recall website.

Although Blue Bell has not received any reports of illness from the ice cream, they are warning consumers not to eat it and return it to the store they bought it from for a full refund.

It's obvious why Blue Bell would want to handle the situation as carefully as possible. After all, this is not the first time Blue Bell has had to issue a voluntary recall of its ice cream. Last year, the company stopped sales and issued a different voluntary recall of its entire product line after bacteria contamination was linked to 10 cases of listeria across four states, three of which were fatal.

Listeria infections can be very dangerous, even deadly

Listeria is known to cause serious infections, particularly in those with weakened immune systems, young children and the elderly. It's particularly dangerous for expectant mothers, who could experience miscarriage or stillbirth. Healthy people who become infected might note symptoms such as severe headache, high fever, abdominal pain, nausea and stiffness.

The CDC reports that approximately 1,850 Americans will become seriously ill with listeriosis each year, and it will prove fatal for more than 400 of these people.

It's important to take this type of recall seriously, as contaminated food cannot be detected simply by looking at it. Even if you think your ice cream looks and smells fine, it still has the potential to make you very sick.

A similar recall was issued a short time ago for ready-to-eat salads made by SM Fish Corp. of New York, sold under the Ossie's brand. Last month, 30,000 cases of pre-sliced vegetable products made by Country Fresh and sold in nine states were recalled after a product was found to be contaminated with listeria.

Packaged food simply not worth the risks

Unfortunately, when you buy packaged food at the store you're always taking a chance that you could get more than you bargained for unless you happen to have a food testing lab at your disposal. Pesticides, heavy metals and other hidden toxins are just a few of the things that could be lurking in your food if you're not careful. Of course, not everyone has time to churn their own ice cream, but plenty of other sources of listeria contamination are much easier to avoid, such as by growing your own organic fruits and vegetables, or washing them very thoroughly before eating them if you do buy them from the store or market.

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